Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Last of the Firsts

A year has passed.

Kelly has been gone for a year.

I did not want to be sad today. I would not be honoring her by choosing sorrow over joy.

I wanted to celebrate her life today and I did.

I wore my cheerful Saint Patrick’s Day tie to work.

I pinned Kelly’s charm next to my heart so I could keep her close to me.

Shayna sent me tons of love, light and courage from California.

I heard from many of my friends on Facebook sending their support.

The TNT coach of the Ohio chapter was going to say a toast to Kelly after work.

I talked to my friends at work about Kelly throughout the day.

I gathered with my friends and family after work at the Team in Training social in celebration of Kelly’s life.

Rebecca Russell, the executive director of the Rocky Mountain chapter for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society told me that was the best she had seen me look in a long time. Today of all days, I wanted to be joyful for Kelly.

I hugged two of the Mom’s that have the closest of ties to blood cancer.

Krizstina’s son Brandan(2 years old) is fighting a dangerous form of AML.

Desiree’s daughter Melina, earned her angel wings at the age of 5 months.

That was the only time I almost cried was when I hugged Krizstina and Desiree.

I was so happy to see them. Their support meant so much to me.

People made impromptu donations to further the mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to honor Kelly.

I drove home and called Brittany. She had worked her entire shift carrying an Eeyore stuffed animal in her apron. She had kept Kelly close to her today.

Somehow I made it through the day.

Today was the last of the firsts.

It is time to move forward.

I know that is what Kelly wants for me.

Monday, March 16, 2009


My two year great nephew Keegan gave me the title to my post. I thought that was fitting as I have the emotional stability of a two year old right now.

Brittany left me the nicest message on my cell phone today and I have been crying ever since I listened to it.

Brittany is going to featured speaker at a black tie gala fund raiser for the LLS chapter in Orlando on Saturday.

She went shopping at the Magic Kingdom today and bought an Eeyore stuffed animal. She plans on carrying Eeyore with her all day tomorrow to honor Kelly and will put Eeyore next to her on the podium on Saturday and share with the audience that Kelly is her inspiration for the night.

I am crying as I type this. I can't explain how much that has touched me. Brittany shares an unbreakable bond with Kelly and for her to honor Kelly and keep her memory alive in this way....

I don't know what to say.

I know Brittany will keep fighting for Kelly. It is such an honor for me to know such amazing people.

Please take a minute to watch this message to cancer here

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Angels, Heroes and Eeyore

I woke up last Tuesday feeling very sad as the one year anniversary of Kelly’s passing was a week away.

I felt like I was managing my emotions fairly well and had been trying to stay upbeat for the most part. I had even planned a Saint Patrick’s day get together with the South Denver TNT group to celebrate Kelly's life.

Yet as I started off to work, I felt overwhelmed with sadness. I even posted my status message on Facebook , I was getting a head start on feeling sad about next week.

As I was driving to work I thought about another team hero of mine, Brittany Ross. I thought about callng her next Tuesday. I just knew I would feel better if I could hear her voice. While the thought of calling her made me happy, I started to cry. Happy and sad at the same moment.

I kept Brittany in my thoughts the rest of the day. I found some comfort there.

Later that afternoon, Brittany had sent out a text message asking for everyone to let her know their favorite Disney character, and to leave the message for her on Facebook.

I was so happy to hear from her and sent her a request to add me as her friend on Facebook.

It was really amazing to me as I had been thinking about Brittany for much of the day. I was so down. Did she somehow sense I needed to hear from her?

This was something I had experienced many times with Kelly. I would be feeling discouraged and when I would get home there would be an e-mail from Kelly in my in-box. My heart would leap when I saw her name. This wasn’t something that happened just once. It was uncanny. She always seemed to know when I needed to hear from her.

Last fall right before the Denver marathon, I got a package in the mail from Kelly’s parents. They wanted me to have something of Kelly’s to treasure, to inspire. Don and Patty thought the marathon was the follwing week and for some reason they went back to my website to double check the date. I am sure that Kelly nudged them to check that. Don and Patty sent the package through FedEX overnight service. Kelly knew I needed to hear from her.

My hero, now my angel, forever my hero.

Brittany and I had an amazing chat via Facebook later that night. I told her that my favorite Disney character was Eeyore. That was also Kelly’s favorite character. Kelly told me that the very first time we ever talked on the phone.

Brittany now lives in Orlando, Florida and works for the Walt Disney company. Brittany is going to recruit Eeyore to be on the Light the Night team next fall. I know Kelly will like that.
Brittany shared this with me the other night.

So I wanted to do something in Kelly's memory and I was over at Walgreens yesterday and I was looking at IPOD holders for my IPOD and I found one with Eeyore on it and since you had told me that Eeyore was her favorite character, I decided to get it. I take my IPOD with me everywhere I go, and that way no matter where I am or what I am doing, a piece of her is with me all the time.

My angels and heroes. Even Eeyore has to smile about that.

Friday, March 6, 2009

To Laiken on her birthday

This has been a very emotional day for me. Today would have been Laiken's 14th birthday.

I have written about Laiken before here

While I never had the honor of meeting Laiken, I feel as I know her through her Mother ,reading her posts about Laiken.

There are so many ways Laiken reminds me of Kelly, her spirit, her courage, the way she cared for others while fighting for her own life.

I have adopted Laiken as one of my team angels. Laiken's picture is right next to Kelly's on the back of the singlet I wore at the Denver marathon last fall, the ribbon of her name right next to her picture.

Special thanks to Donna for overnighting a Love 4 Laiken shirt for me so I could have one to wear on Laiken's birthday. I wore my shirt to my Yoga class, dedicated my practice to Laiken. Laura and I proudly wore our shirts to lunch.

Happy Birthday Laiken. You are loved and missed by so many.

I hope you and Kelly had a great day together celebrating your birthday.

Love 4 Laiken always and forever.